You're on the waitlist for the iPhone 3G. Oh, I know ... and so does everyone else.

Categories: Business

Excited about the new iPhone, Minneapolis and St. Paul? Oh, I know you are. It's not because of the long in-person lines that I know, either. It's because of a hole in AT&T's planning.

If you signed up to receive a phone when one becomes available at your local store, you're supposed to be able to check the phone's shipping status at AT&T's site. But it turns out by accessing the order screen, customers can also find out the names of all the other people waiting. Using this site, check your place in line. Or just get voyeuristic.

Waiting for an iPhone already? Get out your receipt, input your order number and the store's zip code, and you can see all of your friends and neighbors who are in the same boat. (Maybe you can arrange for them to be out of town if they're on the list ahead of you, so you can get your greedy paws on the gleaming device all the sooner).

Even if you're not on the list, as long as you can guess any of the order numbers in the queue -- and they're only four or sometimes five digit numbers -- you can get a gander at the customers, what stores are having phones shipped and what stores are being ignored.

Using a friend's receipt, I took a gander at orders shipping to an AT&T store in St. Paul. First, shame on you, national AT&T, for ignoring the fair Midwest. No phones have been shipped to the store since yesterday, when they shipped three -- a meager number for the 100-plus in line. Also, confidential to D. O'G. in the town formerly known as Pig's Eye: the world knows that you're on the waitlist twice, you Apple addict, you. Good luck selling phone No. 2 on eBay.

Well played, AT&T site security, well played. And ship St. Paul some more iPhones, already!


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